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China's Infervision brings AI tech to 200th hospital

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
Infervision has now signed 200 hospital partnership deals for its deep learning and artificial intelligence technology for medical image analysis, the firm announced at a recently held Infervision Global AI Forum in Tianjin, China.

"In the medical imaging industry, AI can free up more capacity and increase the value of doctors to effectively help distribute high-quality medical resources. Medical diagnostic technology can be made available to millions of households, to help solve the medical needs of China, and perhaps even the world's shortage of medical resources," Infervision founder & CEO Chen Kuan said in a statement.

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Infervision's tech is now in use with about 20,000 lung cancer screening scans daily, making it the most used AI platform by scan volume. It use underscores the growing value of AI-assisted scan interpretation – as well as in many other corners of the healthcare sector.

"The application of AI will lead to a real digital shift in traditional medical imaging, requiring AI and people to work together to meet the challenges of the medical industry. In the process of lung nodule screening, Infervision is providing preemptive solutions that allow doctors to meet patients' needs in a short period of time,” Dr. Eliot Siegel, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told the conference, according to organizers.

Expanding the ability to meet patient needs is personal for CEO Kuan – his aunt was one of many in China whose cancer was missed due to lack of “appropriate care”, according to TechCrunch.

“We simply do not have the number of qualified doctors,” Kuan told the tech site. “Because a doctor has to serve so many patients every single day, the quality of care a patient is going to receive varies greatly.”

This makes China both a test-bed and a challenging market for medical imaging. The demand is growing at an annual growth rate of 30 percent and the number of radiologists in the country is increasing at just 4.1 percent – forcing practitioners to read “tens of thousands of images every day,” according to the AI firm.

The shortage that AI interpretation will need to address is global – and not limited to less-developed economies.

Salvador Pedraza Gutierrez, head of Neuroradiology, Hospital Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain, warned at the conference that “Europe has a real problem of a lack of early screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT, and Infervision's AI has provided a rapid and effective early screening program for lung cancer from conventional chest X-ray images.”

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